Page images

requested him to show during the negociation might be misconstrued, if continued through the whole fishing season.

I have the honour to be, &c., CHARLES Bagot.

Mr. Chad to Lord Castlereagh.

Hague, September 5, 1816. My Lord—The Austrian Minister, the Baron de Binder, who returned last week from Vienna to this residence, has been directed by Prince Metternich to make renewed remonstrances against the licentiousness of the Belgian press.

M. de la Tour du Pin received a courier yesterday from Paris, with instructions from the Duke de Richelieu to state to M. de Nagell that, unless some decisive measures are adopted on this subject, his Most Christian Majesty would cause all diplomatic relations to cease between France and Holland.

The accounts transmitted by General Fagel of the intemperate manner in which he had been attacked by the Duke de Richelieu, at a diplomatic dinner given by General Pozzo di Borgo, were not likely favourably to dispose the King of the Netherlands for this communication.

M. de la Tour du Pin, in relating to me these circumstances, did not succeed in concealing that, in obeying the orders of the Duke de Richelieu, he was acting against his own judgment. He repeated how much he regretted that the Court of France had noticed the attacks of the Belgian press, and had thus been engaged in measures, from the prosecution of which it became very difficult to recede.

It appears probable that a compliance with the demands of France and Austria would not only cause great irritation in Belgium, but would also raise up an opposition to the King's Government even amongst those of his Dutch subjects who have been constant in their enmity to France and in their attachment to the House of Orange.

I have the honour to be, &c., G. W. CHAD.

Lord Castlereagh to Mr. à Court.

Foreign Office, September 6, 1816. Sir-In my official instructions to you, of this date, relative to Sicilian affairs, you will perceive that I have abstained from making any reference to that part of the Marquis Circello's communication to you, which had relation either to the engagements or to the discussions which have taken place between the Courts of Naples and Vienna on this question, as connected with the political state of Italy, because, as the Prince Regent is in no degree a party to these engagements; and as his Royal Highness's policy is as far as possible to avoid interference, I have thought it better to found my despatch upon that part of the conversation alone which had reference to the course the British Government was likely to pursue, in the actual state of affairs, and upon which you will have no difficulty, on your return to Naples, in fully explaining yourself.

The British Government is very sensible of the friendly disposition the Austrian Government has shown to concert their measures with them upon this subject. Their relations with the Court of Naples, as well as their general interest in the political tranquillity of Italy, must give them an interest not less warm than we feel in the result of any change which may be attempted in Sicily; but still we think that any actual concert between the two Powers would embarrass, rather than assist, the King of Naples ; that it might be open to great misconception in Europe, and expose both Powers to an extent of responsibility more serious than could be counterbalanced by the advantages to be hoped to flow from their active interference.

In the progress of affairs, so far as your personal advice can be employed, to promote the welfare and happiness of the Sicilians, and to avert a state of things which might impose upon the British Government the necessity of interference, I am confident it will not be withheld ; but, you will, at the same time, be cautious not thereby to commit your Court to a responsibility, which they deem it their duty explicitly to


Lord Castlereagh to Lord Stewart. London, September 6, 1816. My dear Charles—I should be glad if you would endeavour by the return of the messenger to let me know with certainty what Austria will do upon the question of the reversion, because, if she refuses, we must try to make Spain accept at all events. My own opinion is that it is not for the interest of Austria either to keep this question open, or to have Napoleon the Second in Italy quasi Sovereign. France will never agree to it; and you may remember, the British Government sent a peremptory instruction to Clancarty at Vienna to protest against the boy being included in the arrangement. The instruction proceeded on the principle that Buonaparte's leaving Elba had worked a forfeiture of the Paris stipulation, and that a life interest was as much as the Empress had any claim to expect, when not only the preferable claim of the Spanish family, but the general principle of not preserving the dynasty, was against her. You may remember how the reclamations of Maria Louisa, the gallantry of the Emperor of Russia, and the obstinacy of Labrador, led to the compromise of giving the Duchies for life to the Archduchess, saving their reversion for future decision. What I wish now to ascertain is, whether we can close the point or not. If Metternich hesitates, he means to let Russia again interpose to prevent it; if he does not, and is prepared to give effect to his own proposition, made the 29th of March, 1815, I do not think the Emperor will now oppose a settlement. This query is to yourself. You will explain to Prince Metternich that, in framing my despatches on the Sicilian question, my object has been, not to

bring into view the Austrian policy in any of those documents, which we might possibly deem it necessary to bring before Parliament, in case we should be obliged to produce papers. The line we take is also, I persuade myself, the most convenient to his Court, provided the Neapolitan Government will manage so far wisely and liberally as not to force upon us an interference which we really wish to avoid.

Ever, my dear Charles, &c., CASTLEREAGH.


Lord Castlereagh to Lord Clancarty.

Foreign Office, September 6, 1816. My dear Clancarty–From your private letter, coupled with some other information that has reached me, I have reason to believe that Pfeffel, the Bavarian Minister here, may mislead his Court upon the projet you mention, and which Rechberg brought forward to you for still effectuating a contiguity in the Bavarian provinces. Pfeffel communicated this projet to me some time since. I told him I could enter into no discussion on its merits here, and could only receive it and forward it to you, which I have some reason to think, in the hurry of business, and taking it for granted it would reach you from the Bavarian Minister on the spot, I may have forgot to do.

Pfeffel afterwards carried his projet to Prince Leopold, who, wishing thereby to assist his brother's exchanges, forwarded it to me with a request that I would promote it as far as I properly could, as a means to assist the Duke of Coburg's interests. In my answer, I told his Serene Highness he might rely on your doing everything you could to serve his brother, of which you had already given proofs, and that you had my directions to do so. This answer having been shown to Pfeffel, he interprets it, as I understand, into a support of his projet, instead of the Duke's interests. You will at once see the distinction; and if they quote my letter, you will say that you have instructions to promote, as far as you can, the Duke's


interests, but that upon the practicability of the Bavarian projet no opinion was expressed; but, on the contrary, M. Pfeffel was informed that it could alone be judged of at Frankfort.

However much I should wish to render a service to the Bavarian Government, and to see their territory consolidated, I quite agree with you that we must not throw loose the negociation in search of unattainable objects. This projet is framed upon the supposition of adequate indemnities being forthcoming to reconcile Baden to these further sacrifices. Amongst others, they count upon the fortification money and the Neapolitan funds: the first is negatived, whilst the second is yet at sea, and, if obtained, is, as the Emperor of Russia not unnaturally requests, to go to Beauharnois, in the first instance, and not to Bavaria. The indemnities, therefore, are nowhere to be found for effectuating so extensive a cession, unless Bavaria can herself furnish them.

I have troubled you with this explanation, that this little intrigue here may be productive of no complications at Frankfort. You will, I have no doubt, find it easy to check any false hope on the part of the Bavarians, doing justice, at the same time, to the friendly disposition the Prince Regent feels to promote their interests; taking care at the same time to leave Prince Leopold as much in favour with them as you can.

Ever faithfully yours, CASTLEREAGH. PS. Perhaps it may be advisable to send Charles a copy of this letter, lest the Bavarians may be working at Vienna upon this false interpretation.


Lord Castlereagh to the Duke of Wellington.

London, September 6, 1816. My dear Lord—I am very much obliged to you for your Memorandum on Spanish affairs. I send you a copy of my

« PreviousContinue »